In early June, my family and I took a trip to Northeastern New Mexico to see the beautiful, Capulin Volcano.
In early June, my family and I took a trip to Northeastern New Mexico to see the beautiful, Capulin Volcano. Located about 60 miles southeast of the Colorado border, lies the Raton-Clayton volcanic field, and in that volcanic field lies tens of volcanoes, one of which, is the magnificent structure of the Capulin Volcano.
Before I inform you of my trip, there is a lot of knowledge that you need to know about volcanoes to understand what this specific volcanic field is made up of. There are four types of volcanoes, caldera, shield, cinder cone, and composite. These are in order from less harmful to more harmful. There are also three stages to a volcanoes' life. Active, dormant, and extinct, are representing if the volcano is going, stopped for a little bit, or done erupting forever.
Imagine being on the road with nothing in sight. Driving in a literal desert scrub, then seeing these huge figures creep gracefully in the horizon. Soon you see this big mountain covered in a thick layer of pine trees and a huge sign saying, Capulin Volcano. The view is okay from here, so you snap a picture and start your journey up to the crater. At the top of the crater, you can literally see a view that is breathtaking. The whole volcanic field spread out in the distance. Although, if you time it right, the guide will tell you really interesting facts.
Capulin Volcano is an extinct cinder cone volcano. It erupted fifty thousand years ago to sixty thousand years ago. This particular volcano spans about 1.239 square miles. The elevation of this marvelous structure is 8,182 feet. It is pretty young in terms of being proclaimed a U.S. Monument on August 9, 1916. It may seem old, but truthfully, it's not. The address? Well, ironically it is located on 46 Volcano Road, Capulin, New Mexico 88414.
Personally, I believe that this is a delightful, astonishing, and easy to achieve mini-vacation for the whole family. You can do a day trip, or do as we did and stay the night in Raton, go to the volcano, and then drive the scenic routes back into Colorado. Yet the best part is when exit the park; you are allowed to collect actual pieces of pumice and cooled lava rocks from where the landed in the explosion 60,000 years ago! (Do not grab rocks from the park for it is a federal offense.) If the piece you pick up just know that if it is smaller than your fist that is is called a lava rock, and if it's bigger than your fist, it is called a lava bomb. Pretty cool if you ask me, however, if you want, go and explore and witness it through your own eyes.
Visiting hours are from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm everyday. Want to contact the site? No problem their number is (575) 278-2201. Enjoy!